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6 Binding Waste as Book History

Patterns of Survival Among the Early Mainz Donatus Editions

Eric White    Princeton University Library, US    

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abstract

n this article the Author examines binding waste made from the earliest editions of Donatus’ Ars minor (a Latin grammar printed in Mainz during the 1450s and ’60s) to contextualize his earlier conclusions regarding at least 15 copies of the Gutenberg Bible known only from fragments, which bookbinders across Europe recycled for waste material during the later sixteenth century and throughout the seventeenth century. The binding contexts for the Donatus fragments, by contrast, date mainly to the fifteenth century. This testifies to the fact that the Bibles retained their usefulness much longer than the schoolbooks did, and suggests that the functional life spans of various genres of books are measurable, and this can be better understood through similar studies of binding waste in context.

Published
Feb. 24, 2020
Accepted
Aug. 31, 2019
Submitted
May 16, 2019
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-333-5
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-332-8

Keywords: BookbindingFragmentsBinding wasteBook historyGutenberg BibleMainzIncunabulaJohann GutenbergDonatusPrintingArs minor

Copyright: © 2020 Eric White. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.